Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Day 50, Tues, Oct 21, Maryville, MO to Omaha, NE

Finding the sculptures downtown was easy, but finding the Omaha Temple was much harder, dut to the fact that I wrote the address down incorrectly. But we finally arrived there. This is the very site of Winter Quarters and the burial ground of so many that died there in the bitter winter of 1846-47.
We enjoyed meeting the Sister Missionaries at the Information Center next to the Temple and viewing a wonderful film of the pioneer period.
Linda was not able to go, due to her leg being so painful after our full day, but with her encouragement I attended a 7:30 pm session and enjoyed it so much. This is a beautiful, small temple much like the one in Snowflake, Arizona.

I've milked a few of these old "Bessy's" in my younger days.

This one looks just like our old milk cow "Jersey."

Despite the cold and the wind and pain in her knee, Linda kept walking from one piece to another. She couldn't keep back the tears.

Another view of the mule drawn wagon that forms a center piece of the present wagon train now in place at the park. So true in every way, even down to the grease bucket hanging between the rear wheels.

One picture of any of these subjects cannot begin to capture to fullness of what is being portrayed. You must walk about and look from all sides. The authenticity of detail and the energy so evident in each and every part is so remarkable!

What great work! How splendid and worthwhile and meaningful it is to have captured the time, place and events of our pioneer past in this enduring way. It is a work of great integrity.

We had been privilaged to see some of these pieces during their creation in clay by the artist at his studio in South Jordan, Utah. To see them here in their final full display in bronze was so special!

These pieces were commissioned by an Omaha business man. The wagon train and related bronzes are all part of the First National Spirit of Nebraska Wilderness and Pioneer Park at 14th Street and Capitol.

The highlight of the day came as we arrived in downtown Omaha where the first portions of a pioneer wagon train, all in greater than life size bronze are on display; the work of sculptor Edward J. Fraughton of Utah. Ed Fraughton is the father of our dear daughter in law, Kristi. His work is of such immense significance and represents such meaning that as we got out of the car and stood there in the cold and the wind, Linda began to cry. She knows this man and she knows something of the remarkable skill, labor and dedication he has invested to create such a work. It is the largest work in bronze existing anywhere, with more yet to come before it is completed. It covers an entire city block. Hours would be needed to properly view and appreciate it all in its entirety.

This establishment is in one of the small farming villages we passed through after leaving Maryville, Missouri this morning. We had to turn around and go back and take of picture of the sign over the door for Steve Williams and any of you others who have lived for a time in the Southern or midwestern states. (This is real down-home, rural America!) "Kiss My Grits."

Today, we awoke to falling temperatures, a cold wind and threat of rain. Just about the perfect day as far as Linda is concerned.

We headed out from Maryville, Missouri, west and then north on I-29 for Council Bluffs and Omaha, some 80 miles away. The countryside continued to look much as we have traveled through since leaving the Mississippi, but more to cultivated fields of corn and other crops and less of woodland.

This picture was taken just north of Maryville on US 136 going west toward the Missouri River.